As the students all gathered around inside the Orientation Shrine, they were bombarded left and right by impactful sceneries of meticulously created sculptures, encrusted gemstones as well as various geometric motifs.
“Wow, get a load of this interior. This place is wicked-sick.”
“Yeah, it’s amazing for sure.”
There was a raised platform near the centre of the wooden shrine which hosted several majestic chairs that were surrounded by a half-arc wooden bannister. Seeing how this entrance examination wasn’t so much of a hype, only 2 important figures were present on the platform to greet the new students. One of them truly stood out among the others. He was a senior crow donned in neatly woven feathers of grey, red and gold combination. He was one of the main elders of Crowjun Soul Academy. As for the other one, he didn’t stand out much with his stubby appearance. To speak covertly into the elder’s ear, he had to maintain a balanced flight.
“Elder Zegel, what do you think about this term batch of students?”
The elder washed his gaze over the students below him then responded softly to his sidekick, “I think they might produce some tasty accomplishment for our academy.”
“If you say so, Elder. You know what’s best.”
“Not every time.” Observing the cacophony of voices emanating from below him, Elder Zegel asked his short sidekick for assistance. “They are getting noisy down there. Could you please silence them, Tengan?”
“Right away, Elder Zegel.” Tengan flew ahead of Elder Zegel then shouted, “CAAAAW!!!” His resounding voice garnered the attention of the student body below. He then proceeded to say, “Lower your voices and give your attention to the esteemed figure behind me. This is the Headmaster of Crowjun Soul Academy. He came all the way here to meet with you all in person, so please listen well to what he has to say.”
“Thank you, Tengan.” Stepping ahead, Headmaster Zegel bolstered his voice, looked down at the students and said, “I congratulate all of you who made it this far. Though you’ve all earned you’re enrolment at our academy, it is still far too early for you to settle. I know most of you here are probably tired and want to get you’re injuries looked after and rest up, therefore, I will do my best to keep this message as brief as I can if you would kindly heed this old crow’s words.”
As Elder Zegel spoke, his sidekick, Tengan wondered, ‘Will he be doing that prolix speech that he does every time?’
Elder Zegel continued, “Our academy is ranked number 1 within the entire eastern wing of Waivrumnagar, as such, we have a reputable image to maintain. You’ve all become an addition to the 300,000 students that are currently enrolled here. Though our numbers might be large, it doesn’t give you individuals the right to slack off.”
Some of the students began whispering among themselves as Elder Zegel gave his speech. “Does anybody know how many Soul Academies there are in total inside the eastern wing of Waivrumnagar?”
Gnihzur turned to the fledgling who asked this question and answered, “There are approximately 22 Soul Academies in Aether if memory serves me correctly. The 3 top ranking ones are Crowjun Soul Academy, Kowlong Soul Academy and Brazzers Soul Academy respectively. Although Brazzers is ranked number 3, their academy is packed with powerhouses that could crush most of Crowjun’s top students.”
“Wow, you really know a lot. Then if Brazzers’ students are so strong, why are they ranked number 3?”
“Good question. That’s because they only accept female birds. Due to this, their enrolment quota is extremely low when you compare it to bigger academies such as Crowjun and Kowlong that has over 200,000 thousand students on their enrolment list.”
“I see. So they only accept female birds? Gosh, I wish I could attend that school.”
“It is possible for a male bird to attend Brazzers Academy. However, certain conditions must be met and approved by a few special bodies who oversee the board of enrolment for all the Soul Academies currently established in the Aether of Waivrumnagar.”
Kwaserah looked shockingly at Gnihzur and said. “I didn’t know that you were this knowledgeable.”
“I read a lot. There’s a lot that you don’t know about me, Kwaserah.”
“There’s a lot that you don’t know about me either, Gnihzur.”
“I agree. Then we will be spending more time together.”
“What makes you say that, Gnihzur?”
“Just a hunch.”
Now back to Headmaster Zegel’s prolix speech. “Many of you thought of joining this academy for its fancy décor and prestigious reputation, but I say to all of you, if you want to advance within this academy then you must be willing to surpass your mental limitations. Laziness won’t be tolerated here, so all of you who thought of slacking off, if you don’t show prominent results then you will receive an expeditious expulsion! Speaking of which, all of you here are expected to raise the evolution of your Krowqui to at least the Amazon Warrior Rank-3 class within half a Crowyear.”
“Just half a Crowyear, is he being serious?”
“That isn’t nearly enough time for me to break through the Imak-Class.”
The majority of the students were shocked to hear this. The most apprehensive of all was none other than Gnihzur. He had no visible qualities of Krowqui to utilize, so how would he pass the challenge?
Garnering the attention of Elder Zegel by raising his flaccid feathers, Gnihzur asked, “Excuse me Headmaster for the interruption. But I want to know what will happen to one of us who fails to evolve their Krowqui to the required stage by the allotted time proposed by you?”
Hearing this inquiry, made every head within the Orientation Shrine turned towards Gnihzur’s locality. Looking at him, the Headmaster thought, ‘Hmm, I can’t sense any substantial amount of Krowqui coming from that white-winged crow. Could he perhaps be suppressing it internally? Wait, I remember there being an applicant from the last examination who failed miserably. He too showed no sign of possessing any Krowqui. Could this youngster before me be him? If my assumption is indeed correct then this kid must have some sort of hidden potential to have made it this far. I would love to see how he reacts under excessive pressure. The Guild Test tomorrow should be a good challenge.’
“Ahem…” Clearing his throat, Headmaster Zegel donned his serious appearance, looked Gnihzur directly in his eyes and responded to his inquiry, “The answer to the question you’ve asked is very simple. If you fail to comply with this academy’s rules then you can kiss it goodbye.”
“I understand, sir.”
“Huh?” Kwaserah knew exactly the dilemma that Gnihzur now faced, to offer him some solace, she said to him, “Gnihzur… don’t worry. I promised to help you out and I most certainly will.”
“Thanks for cheering me up, Kwaserah.” Gnihzur brushed his palm against Kwaserah’s hand that clung to his forearm.
Headmaster Zegel continued to address the crowd, “I will now speak of the levels of Krowqui Evolution. I believe this is fundamental knowledge that everyone must comprehend before they are truly settled in this academy. You can all sit if you prefer.” He referred to the row of seats below. Next, he scattered a bunch of his feathers that combined into a rectangle shape. It produced a vivid screen showcasing the various levels of Krowqui Evolution.
Krowqui Evolution Chart:
Imak – 6 Ranks of Evolution
Amazon Warrior – 7 Ranks of Evolution
Gjun – 7 Ranks of Evolution
Emperor – 7 Ranks of Evolution
Heavenly Emperor – 3 Ranks of Evolution
Hermit – 9 Ranks of Evolution
Primordial Saint – 3 Ranks of Evolution
Prokeral God – Unknown Ranks of Evolution
“As you are most familiar with, the lowest level on the Krowqui Evolution Chart is the Imak-Class. Above this level, there are Amazon Warrior, Gjun, Emperor, Heavenly Emperor, Hermit, Primordial Saint, and Prokeral God. Except for the last category which is still unknown to us, all the others have their own unique Ranks of Evolution. This Krowqui Evolution Chart can be applied to all living creatures residing on this planet whose forefathers had long ago received the blessing of our ever pervading, All-Mother. However, us crows are more blessed with All-Mother’s divine light, thus we are able to evolve faster than other species; given enough commitment that is.
They are many out there who still haven’t grasped the most basic comprehension of Krowqui. Soul Academies were erected to remedy these issues in all embodied creatures residing on this planet. Though we don’t all see eye to eye, we are all equal in the expectancy of growth. An embodied creature who has given up on its evolution serves no greater purpose in All-Mother’s divine plan aside from scarce entertainment. Let the just extinction of the human species be an example to all of you. Because of their millennium age incompetence and technocratic misapplication, they had given up on their source of God DNA, thus plunged into the abyss of obscurity. All of you are here to make sure that human history doesn’t repeat itself. Always strive to be greater than who you currently are, not in a selfish mentality but in accordance with All-Mother’s Cosmic Will. Together, we will all someday attain the Infinite Transcendence that will uplift our planetary sphere along the rung of evolution. Once you’ve grown accustomed to our academy, you will get to know more about yourself and…”
“Elder Zegel, a moment.” The stubby crow, Tengan flew forwards and interrupted the Headmaster during his speech. “I think it’s about time. The meeting with the high council is already in progress.”
“Already?” Headmaster Zegel was a bit surprised to hear this important bit of information. He inquired, “How long ago was it?”
“Five minutes, sir.” Answered Tengan.
“It seems I better wrap this up and be on my way.” Giving his attention back to the group below, Headmaster Zegel said to them, “Ok, young ones. It appears that I will have to cut this preamble short for today. I have to be at an important meeting. Not to worry about getting lost, my humble assistant here, Tengan will carry out your orientation. He will get you accustomed to the academy’s grounds along with your schedules. I’ll be going now. I wish you all the best.” Shortly after speaking, Headmaster Zegel scattered his feathers then vanished into thin air.
Tengan flew forward to address the students. “I’m aware that many of you are still hurting from your injuries. As such, before we continue this orientation, I would like all of you to come with me to the healing centre just around the corner.”
Tengan led the fledglings to a medical facility annexed to the Orientation Shrine. There, their wounds were attended to by skilful professionals. In no time at all their disastrous injuries were completely healed.
“Now that you’re all better, kindly come forward one by one bearing your application cards.” Tengan accepted the students’ application cards and in return, he gave them all a Digital Feather.
Almost everyone residing in Waivrumnagar had access to a Digital Feather. These were advanced technologies specially designed for the quick sharing of information among its users. They are a few that are able to undertake more advanced tasks such as Krowqui stabilization, barter, keen sight, inventory storage and many other programmable features. In human reference, Digital Feathers are similar to advance quantum computers that were made from a purer essence of light energy.
The Digital Feather that Tengan gave the students had been programmed with specific information pertaining to Crowjun Soul Academy’s operation. They contained specific student info, a key ID to the Residential Rekishda Tree and a Live 3rd Dimensional map of the accessible places of Crowjun Soul Academy. This Live 3rd Dimensional Map enables students to view all of the non-restricted parts of the academy in real-time along with their rich history.
Finished issuing out the Digital Feathers, Tengan addressed the students again. “All you need to know right now about getting familiar with our school grounds has been programmed on your Digital Feathers. Keep them active at all times. The academy’s staff will send you important updates via those trinkets. Everywhere on the map is accessible to you except for the zones that are coloured in red and marked restricted. Anyone caught trespassing in those areas will be severely reprimanded. Do you all understand?” Tengan gave them a strict gaze until they answered in unison:
“Good, now that we’re all on the same page, I’ll leave you to it. If there is anything else you wish to know before I depart, please speak up now.”
Gnihzur raised a wing then inquired, “I would like to ask something. My suitcase with all my stuff was in the Crowtrain when it exploded. Who will compensate me for that?”
After Gnihzur put forward this important question, many other students also started asking the same thing. Many of them had physical objects that were very dear to them that they lost during the Rouge Dove’s raid.
To assuage their emotional bodies, Tengan spoke, “As for your belongings, don’t worry. The Crowtrain ordeal was a tangible illusion. All of your belongings are safe and accounted for. After you’ve settled inside your temporary abode, you can request for them to be sent up to you directly.”
Lyra was very happy to hear this. “Really, my belongings are safe? Oh, thank All-Mother. I have some valuable items stored inside my luggage. Now I don’t have to replace my precious fluffy fluff.”
Hearing this, a fellow student spoke, “A mature lady like you still sleeps with a dolly? What are you, human?”
“Shut up Mou!” Lyra smacked him on the shoulder.
“Awe! You didn’t have to hit me so hard.”
“Stop being such a baby. I didn’t hit you that hard.”
“You try hitting yourself then before you say that.”
“Why would I do that? I’m not stupid.”
After the quarrel died down, Tengan hovered over the students and said, “If that is all, I will be going now. Do exploit the free time to your benefit to explore the academy and don’t cause any trouble. Getting engaged in physical squabble outside of the combat zones will receive due castigation. I advise you to peruse the rules and regulations installed on your Digital Feathers. See you around.”
Tengan disappeared out of sight instantaneously; leaving the new batch of students to do as they like in their spare time.